Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in 5 minutes!  It makes sandwiches, wraps, pasta, burgers, bowls, eggs, etc. better!

Meet culinary changing Roasted Red Pepper Sauce you never knew you needed, but now you won’t be able to live without.  It boasts fresh bright, sweet, smoky roasted red pepper richness, bolstered with aromatic garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, onion and red pepper flakes.  It’s simple, explosively flavorful, quick and easy, freezer friendly and pantry friendly – just throw the ingredients into a blender and you’re done!  This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is fabulous on everything it touches from sandwiches, wraps, and burgers to pasta, grain bowls, pizza, eggs, grilled chicken and everything in between!  

We love homemade sauces and dressings around here. From homemade pizza sauce, to Caesar Dressing, avocado ranch dressing, tzatziki, horseradish sauce, etc., and now this roasted red pepper sauce – they elevate food to new heights!

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How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

a spoonful of roasted red pepper sauce recipe showing how smooth it is

About Roasted REd Pepper sauce

This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce was not a planned post.  I had the idea to swap out pizza sauce on my Greek Pizza recipe (coming this week!) for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and I instantly became obsessed. I was using it on anything and everything so knew I had to share it! Here’s why you need this recipe in your life:

The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is so crazy fragrant and flavorful that everything it touches tastes gourmet. Immediately after whipping up this sauce for the first time, I added it to my Mediterranean Bowl and it was the best bowl I’ve ever had. I’ve used it on pizza, pasta, grilled chicken, sandwiches, eggs and as a veggie dip. Essentially, anything you want to elevate to 5-star restaurant status, just add this easy sauce.

The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is quick and easy to make in just 5 minutes!  No sautéing, no roasting your own peppers (although you can if you want to) just dump all the ingredients into your blender and push the button. Now there are no excuses not to make this sauce and reap the dizzyingly delicious reward!

The sauce is extremely versatile: make it just how you like it!  The best thing about this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is you can customize the ingredients.  Want it more garlicky? Add more garlic.  Want more basil? Add more basil. Want it spicier? Add more red pepper flakes.  You can even get creative and add almonds, spinach, freshly grated Parmesan, balsamic, etc.

This from scratch Roasted Red Pepper Sauce elevates pantry staples to new heights.  The best kind of recipe is one you can make any night of the week without running to the grocery store, right?  Enter Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. You probably have all of the ingredients to make this recipe in your pantry right now.  You can even swap the fresh herbs and garlic for dried – it can be our little secret.   

This sauce is freezer friendly so you can always have some on hand.  You can freeze any leftovers (should you be so lucky) or I recommend doubling the sauce so you always have some to pull from the freezer – double the rewarded without double the work!

Now, let’s make some!

top view of showing how to use roasted red pepper sauce by adding it to pizza

roasted red pepper SAUCE INGREDIENTS 

Just keep a jar of roasted red peppers stocked and you can make this recipe any time!  Here’s what you’ll need for this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: 

  • Roasted red bell peppers: you will need one 16 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers, drained.  These peppers are sold in jars located next to the sandwich condiments such as sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc. at the grocery store.   If you’d like to make your own, you will need about 2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers. You can follow the instructions in this recipe here.
  • Tomato paste: adds a richness and deeper flavor to the sauce. We won’t use the whole can for this recipe, so you can either purchase tomato paste in a tube or I like to freeze it by the tablespoon wrapped in parchment paper for future use.
  • Garlic cloves: feel free to use more garlic depending on your garlic love.  The garlic is not sautéed first, so you can also substitute with powder if you prefer.
  • Olive oil: use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor. 
  • Herbs and spices: this easy pizza sauce recipe is seasoned with either fresh or dried basil, dried oregano, parsley, onion powder, thyme, pepper and red pepper flakes. No skimping on flavor here!  You can add more or less red pepper flakes depending on how much of a kick you would like.
a bowl of roasted red pepper sauce garnished by basil

CAN I USE all FRESH HERBS?

Absolutely! If you have access to fresh herbs, this recipe is a fabulous use for them because they are chopped directly in the blender and the sauce isn’t simmered so they keep their potent flavor.  You will want to use:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

HOW TO MAKE roasted red pepper SAUCE

This recipe is hardly a recipe because it’s so easy!  To make the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce you’ll add the roasted red peppers, tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano, parsley, onion powder, dried thyme, pepper and red pepper flakes to a blender and blend to desired consistency – that’s it! 

Depending on what you’re using it for, you may want it smoother (for a pasta sauce) or a little chunkier for a grain bowl.

top view of showing how to make roasted red pepper sauce by adding roasted red peppers, garlic, basil, tomato paste, oregano, parsley, thyme and red pepper flakes to a blender

How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

To turn this recipe into Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, add the blended sauce, 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half or milk, to a skillet and simmer until warmed through.  Stir in 1 tablespoon balsamic and ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Season with extra salt, pepper and red pepper flakes because the cream will dilute the flavor of the sauce somewhat.

HOW MUCH SAUCE DOES THIS RECIPE MAKE?

This recipe makes 2 cups of sauce. This is enough for 4 pizzas or 1 batch of 16-ounce pasta when combined with 2 cups half and half or heavy cream.   The sauce also freezes exceptionally well so you don’t have to worry about wasting any! 

TIPS FOR MAKING roasted red pepper SAUCE 

  • The sauce will taste spicy.  The sauce will have a kick if you taste it plain but will mellow when combined with whatever you’re serving it with/on.
  • Don’t skip the tomato paste! It makes the sauce thicker and richer with a complex depth.
  • Use fresh ingredients.  Use fresh basil and fresh garlic for the best flavor if you can.
  • Check your herbs for freshness. Dried herbs and spices have long shelf lives, but they do eventually go off. Sniff your herbs and spices before adding them to the sauce. If they have a strong scent, they’re good to go! If you can hardly smell them or if they smell off, they should be replaced. 
  • Season to taste.   Depending on what you’re using the sauce for and simply personal preference, be ready to adjust the sauce the taste.  You can start with less of an ingredient and add more if you wish.
top view of roasted red pepper pasta in a skillet garnished with basil

VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Use fresh herbs.  Fresh basil, oregano and thyme would instantly elevate your sauce recipe!
  • Swap in garlic powder.  If you don’t want a very strong garlic flavor, then you may want to swap in garlic powder.  Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste.
  • Sauté the garlic.  This recipe has a strong garlic punch due to the raw garlic (think tzatziki).  You are welcome to sauté the garlic first if you wish to mellow the flavor a bit before adding it to the blender.
  • Add other Italian style seasonings. You can swap the proportions of the herbs listed in the recipe such as adding more thyme and less oregano or add additional herbs altogether such as marjoram, fennel and/or rosemary. You could also add Italian seasoning, if desired. 
  • Swap the seasonings. Replace the Italian seasonings with Mexican inspired seasonings like chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, etc., or go more exotic with curry powder, garam masala, etc.
  • Add nuts.  Turn the sauce into a Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce by adding additional basil and either pine nuts or almonds. 
  • Add pesto. You can also omit the garlic and add already prepared basil pesto.
  • Add spinach.  Blend spinach directly into the sauce.
  • Add balsamic.  I often will add 1 teaspoon quality balsamic vinegar.  It adds a sweet tanginess.
  • Add Parmesan.  Add ¼-½ cup freshly grated Parmesan to the blender.
  • Make it spicy.  Love spice? Add more red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne. 
  • Adjust consistency.  For a thicker sauce, add more tomato paste; for a thinner sauce, thin with water.

HOW long is roasted red pepper sauce good for?  

Transfer leftover sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

CAN YOU FREEZE roasted red pepper SAUCE? 

Yes! This sauce freezes exceptionally well, so go ahead and double or triple the batch and always enjoy the sauce at your fingertips. Store leftover sauce in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers to up to 6 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. 

CAN YOU PREP the SAUCE IN ADVANCE? 

Absolutely! In fact, I think it tastes even better after the flavors have time to come together in the fridge. The sauce will last up to 5 days in the fridge and should be frozen beyond that.

CAN I DOUBLE THIS RECIPE? 

Easily! You can double or triple this recipe and store it for later. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to blend the sauce in batches to prevent making a mess. 

WAYS TO USE THIS roasted red pepper sauce

This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is delicious with:

top view showing how to use roasted red pepper sauce by adding it to a Mediterranean bowl

WANT TO TRY THIS roasted red pepper sauce?

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a spoonful of roasted red pepper sauce recipe showing how smooth it is

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce in 5 minutes!  It boasts fresh bright, sweet, smoky roasted red pepper richness, bolstered with aromatic garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, onion and red pepper flakes.  It’s simple, explosively flavorful, quick and easy, freezer friendly and pantry friendly – just throw the ingredients into a blender and you’re done!  This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is fabulous on everything it touches from sandwiches, wraps, and burgers to pasta, grain bowls, pizza, eggs, grilled chicken and everything in between!  
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons packed chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 ½ tablespoons fresh
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried parsley, onion powder, dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender and blend to desired consistency, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
  • Serve with sandwiches, wraps, burgers, Mediterranean grain bowls, pasta, roasted or raw vegetables, eggs, potatoes, etc.

Video

Notes

How to store

  • To store:  transfer leftover sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze:  store leftover sauce in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers to up to 6 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. 

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2 Comments

  1. Karen M. says

    This sauce is delicious! I made empanadas and used this to dip them in and it was perfect. I did add a little vinegar because the red peppers were a little sweet. It just gave it a little zing. Really good!

    • Jen says

      I love that you made it already! It sound delicious with empanadas – great idea!

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